Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Prediction: Liverpool vs AS Roma

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 11/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Liverpool and AS Roma have been the two most surprising teams in the UEFA Champions League this season, and fate wanted one of them to reach the final. Both European giants are coming off massive victories in the quarterfinals, and they are set to endure a 180-minute, two-legged battle that promises to go down to the wire. The first leg will be at Anfield Road this Tuesday, at 19:45 BST.

Liverpool

One could think that Liverpool are Mohamed Salah and 10 more players, but The Reds have proved to be much more than that during the current European campaign. After passing the challenge of facing both Sevilla and Spartak Moscow in the Group Stage, Jurgen Klopp’s men saved their best football for the knockout stages. They defeated FC Porto in the Round of 16 with a 5-0 score (thanks to a 5-0 win in Portugal and a scoreless draw at Anfield) and took care of Manchester City in the quarterfinals. Pep Guardiola’s men were one of the biggest candidates to lift the trophy, but Liverpool outmached them, and Klopp outclassed Guardiola once again as The Reds won both games (3-0 and 2-1, respectively) to secure their berth in the Top Four. It’s the first time in a decade that Liverpool gets this far in the Champions League.

Team News

Liverpool will have three important absences ahead of this game. Emre Can (back), Adam Lallana (thigh) and Joel Matip (thigh) have all been ruled out.

These trio are not the only absentees for Klopp, though. Nathaniel Clyne (unspecified) is doubtful, and will require a late-fitness test to determine his availability for this game.

AS Roma

AS Roma produced one of the biggest upsets in recent years in the UEFA Champions League when they defeated FC Barcelona in the quarterfinals. The Italian side lost 1-4 in the first leg at Camp Nou, but delivered an impressive in the second leg and their 3-0 win – thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele de Rossi and Kostas Manolas – sent the Giallorossi side to the semifinals for the first time since the 1983-84 season when they lost to… Liverpool in the final match. The Serie A side has been focusing in the Champions League and the results have paid off. They escaped one of the toughest groups in the tournament – one that included Chelsea and Atletico Madrid – and later took care of both Shakhtar Donetsk and Barca during the knockout stages. Without a doubt, they are a team to watch down the stretch.

Team News

Dutch full-back Rick Karsdorp is not available for this game due to a knee injury. He is Roma’s lone confirmed absentee for this game.

However, there are other players that could miss out on the game as well. Gregoire Defrel (ankle) and Aleksandar Kolarov (unspecified) will require late-fitness tests to determine their availability.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool have the best attack in the UEFA Champions League this season. The Reds have scored 33 goals while conceding only seven times.
  • Roma have struggled mightily in away games against English opposition during knockout stages. In 16 games, Roma have a W1, D6, L9 mark against them.
  • Roma did play against English opposition this season and conquered good results, though. They took on Chelsea during the group stage and escaped unbeaten (3-0 home win, 3-3 away draw).
  • Roma have conceded 2+ goals in four of their five Champions League away games so far.
  • Liverpool average 3.3 goals scored per game during the current Champions League campaign. Roma will need to be at their best to stop them!

Conclusion

Liverpool are one of the top teams in the Champions League this season, and no defence has been able to keep them at bay thus gar. Roma are known for their defensive power, though, so their only chance to get a positive result here will be to try and outscore them.

As such, I believe the game will be quite open, with over 2,5 goals scored.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 11/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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